Lasers bouncing off elliptical mirrors in C#

The NumberPhile Illumination Problem https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhj5er1k6GQ describes reflecting light beams off mirrored walls to see if all parts of an oddly shaped room can be illuminated. In the last 2 posts (Lasers reflecting off an ellipse  and  Reflect laser beams off multiple mirrors) I showed some code to simulate laser beams reflecting off multiple mirrors in…

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Lasers reflecting off an ellipse

Various conic sections (hyperbolas, parabolas, ellipses) have interesting reflective properties. Parabolas are used for antennae and even car headlight and flashlight reflectors to focus a beam of light. In the last post https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/calvin_hsia/2018/02/28/reflect-laser-beams-off-multiple-mirrors I showed some code to bounce a laser off various mirrors that the user can draw on the screen. I also mentioned…

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Reflect laser beams off multiple mirrors

In some science museums there are exhibits demonstrating the paths of light rays. A typical one might have a table with small walls consisting of blocks a few inches high, with each vertical face being a mirror. A small horizontal laser can be positioned anywhere on the table. Many blocks be placed on the table…

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Store different derived classes in collections in C++ and C#: CoVariance, shared_ptr, unique_ptr

I wanted to create a collection container that would hold objects of various types, all derived from a common interface/base class.In C# and VB, this is easy. Just create a new List<MyBase>() and add elements to it, including various MyBase derived typesAdding elements that are more derived is Covariance (not to be confused with covariance…

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Calculate Pi to measure processor performance

We know that computers can calculate very quickly, but how do we compare performance between code? I know that processors have been improving immensely since my first processor in 1971 (see https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/calvin_hsia/2005/10/30/my-toys-over-the-years/ ). As improvements come to processors, not all programs take advantage of them. As processor manufacturers come up with new improvements (such as…

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Create a Visual Studio Extension with minimal impact on VS startup performance

The good news: It’s very easy to create an extension in Visual Studio. The bad news: It’s also easy to make that extension have an adverse effect on the start time of Visual Studio. Let’s examine how we can mitigate the impact on Visual Studio performance. Make sure your VS Installation has installed Extensibility by…

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Graph Poker Hand Distributions

Last time I showed how to Calculate Poker hand probabilities with code that showed how often a particular hand occurred, such as a Pair or a Full House. Now that we can calculate these probabilities, lets graph them. You’ll need to add references to some assemblies: System.Windows.Forms, System.Windows.Forms.DataVisualization, WindowsFormsIntegration First we’ll accumulate the results of…

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Calculate Poker hand probabilities

In the last post I showed some code that displays playing cards using WPF. Now we’ll have some fun with the cards. Let’s calculate the probability of getting a particular poker hand. The program below shuffles the deck, then deals 5 cards by taking the first 5 cards into a “hand”. The hand is then…

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Display Playing cards in WPF

I remember each version of Windows had new games. On Windows 3.1 many people played Solitaire. Windows for Workgroups 3.11 introduced Hearts. Somewhere along the way came FreeCell, MineSweeper and Spider Solitaire. This was years before more modern User interfaces, such as WPF existed. Windows no longer ships Cards.dll which has the images of the…

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Debugging Monkeys on a Raspberry Pi

The last couple times I wrote about using a RaspBerry Pi and Windows IoT: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/calvin_hsia/2017/03/16/getting-started-with-windows-internet-of-things-windows-iot/ https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/calvin_hsia/2017/04/29/create-a-security-system-with-cameras-on-your-windows-iot-raspberry-pi/ I was contemplating getting Monkeys working on an Arduino, but that would have required a lot more effort (I’d have to implement a lot of the base functionality, like collection classes, hash tables, I/O, etc.) and it would not…

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